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Importance of eating breakfast; Why should I eat breakfast; Children who refuse breakfast

Abstract: Recent research shows that if children in total get good nourishment, it is not so important if they get a good breakfast.

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Importance of eating breakfast; Why should I eat breakfast; Children who refuse breakfast

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 05 Aug 2008.

I have a 17 year-old daughter who won't eat breakfast. She says that she isn't hungry, but I have heard that it is important for school results and good health for her to eat breakfast. She is not overweight. However, both of us parents have to struggle in order to keep our weight in check, so we are naturally worried that she will get the same problem. What can I do? I can't compel her to eat breakfast as she is a strong willed person.

Answer:

For many years we have been told of the importance of eating breakfast, but this can be a misleading interpretation of research findings which showed how previously undernourished children improved their school results when given a wholesome breakfast. Later research, however, indicates that if children are given sufficient nourishment during the day, the breakfast contribution is of less importance. It may be only those who are undernourished during the whole day who produce a better school result with a wholesome breakfast.

You don't have to worry if your daughter doesn't eat breakfast as long as she gets the nutrition she needs during the day. However, if the total diet is wrong or insufficient then something needs to be done about it.

Hunger, which is natural and causes a person to eat the food required in moderation, makes life much easier. If your daughter has this kind of hunger, you should not do anything to disturb it. Just allow her to eat in her own way.

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